Hugs, holidays and indoor dining – all things that just over a year ago we had taken for granted as part of our normal lives but have now been allowed again.
With this week’s changes, we are inching ever closer to normality making one of the biggest strides yet as groups of six can meet indoors again and even stay the night, whilst thirty people can now meet outdoors (although who would want to with the weather we’re having!), indoor attractions and stadiums can reopen, holidays are a possibility once more, and restaurants can welcome people back inside.
This forms Step 3 in the government’s phases out of lockdown and with infection rates, hospitalisations and deaths at their lowest levels yet paired with over 70% of adults having received the first dose of a vaccine, the roadmap out looks promising.
As we continue to live in a time that will surely make it into the history books, this week marked another pivotal period in British history: 485 years ago, Anne Boleyn was executed at the Tower of London on 19th May. King Henry VIII’s infatuation with Anne and her refusal to be his mistress is what led to the creation of the Church of England and after not being able to produce a male heir, she was found guilty of various crimes.
After her 1000 day reign, Anne Boleyn became the first English queen to be publicly executed. New research on her prayer book, that she was believed to have with her until her last moments, has unveiled wording that has stayed undiscovered for hundreds of years. It revealed that the book had been carefully passed between a network of women to protect Anne’s final inscriptions and to even add their own, and is one of only three books with her signature that have survived.
The small piece of self-expression gives us new insight into the queen’s personal life and indicates a larger community when women’s opportunities were so limited. Nearly 500 years later, the Queen of England’s secret inscription comes to us just at a time of renewed hope: “Remember me when you do pray, that hope dothe led from day to day”.
Kodal Minerals (AIM: KOD) has provided an update on the Bougouni Lithium Project mining licence application. Changes to the previously lodged Feasibility Report have been finalised and will be filed with the DNGM in Mali, as Kodal waits for a confirmation letter requesting payment for the application fee as part of the next stage in the process as it continues to advance. Meanwhile, Kodal has secured two drill rigs for its Nielle Project in Cote d’Ivoire, with drilling programmes planned to add definition to the gold mineralisation. Additionally, the early stage Dabakala project has begun infill geochemical sampling to target definition of the new gold anomalism ahead of first phase drilling.
Empire Metals Limited (AIM: EEE) has appointed Mr Shaun Bunn to the Board of the Company as Managing Director, to come into effect from 1 June 2021. Mr Bunn has over 35 years’ experience in exploration, mining, processing and project development, including over 25 years’ experience in the gold mining sector and will further strengthen the team’s project evaluation and execution credentials.
Additionally, Empire has entered into an option agreement to acquire a controlling 75% interest in four exploration licences which comprise the Central Menzies Gold project. The project is 90km from its flagship Eclipse Gold Project and is located in one of the region’s major productive gold fields and lies within a classic granite-greenstone belt, with mineralisation associated with the regional Menzies Shear Zone. Recent surface prospecting has uncovered a suite of gold nuggets totalling 20 ounces. The gold mining industry in Western Australia offers significant opportunity for Empire and further extends its mineralised footprint in the region.
Cora Gold Limited (AIM: CORA) has released its final audited results for the year ended 31 December 2020. The year saw many positive advances made for Cora, starting with the publishing of a Scoping Study for its flagship Sanankoro Gold Project, indicating its potential to be a highly profitable oxide mine and showed an 107% IRR and US$41.5m NPR. A total of US$5.4m was raised through the issue of shares and a US$21m term sheet was signed with Lionhead Capital Advisors in order to fund Sanankoro’s future development. The project’s DFS is on track to be completed by the end of 2021 and, post period end, the Sanankoro II permit was awarded in March 2021 and the largest ever drill programme is continuing to progress and is returning encouraging results. Finally, the two new appointments of Andrew Chubb and Norman Baillie were made during the period to advance Cora towards the next stages of development.
Kibo Energy Plc (AIM: KIBO) has entered into an agreement with South Africa-based Industrial Green Solutions to jointly develop a portfolio of Waste to Energy projects in South Africa. The agreement has an initial target of generating more than 50 megawatts of electricity for sale to industrial users and is in line with Kibo’s strategy to integrate renewable energy into its project pipeline. Under the terms, Kibo will own 65% of Newco Energy which will hold the Waste to Energy Project Portfolio and the initial project pipeline comprises of seven projects.
Europa Oil and Gas (Holdings) Plc (AIM: EOG) announced that all necessary consents have been received by the operator Egdon Resources for the commencement of the planned proppant squeeze operation at the Wressle oil field in North Lincolnshire. The proppant squeeze is the final stage of operations under the field development plan to achieve optimum production levels at the Wressle-1 well. Operations will commence shortly after which gross production is expected to hit the 500bopd target. This will increase Europa’s net production by 150bopd to over 200bopd and in the process transform the Company’s financial profile.
Secure Property Development and Investment PLC (AIM: SPDI) provided an update on the transfer of its property portfolio, excluding its Greek logistics properties, to the Arcona Property Fund N.V. (‘Arcona’) which, once completed will create a larger Central and South Eastern European focused investment vehicle. Stage One of the transaction, which involved the transfer of certain of SPDI’s Ukrainian and all of its Bulgarian assets for shares and warrants in Arcona, was completed pre-pandemic. Stage Two, which includes SPDI’s remaining property assets in Ukraine and certain assets in Romania, has however been severely disrupted but both SPDI and Arcona expect the relevant paperwork to be signed in the near future. SPDI also gave an update on its Romanian income generating assets. These continue to experience no adverse revenue effects from the pandemic, largely due to the assets being leased to companies active in defensive sectors, such as food and telecoms.
Tirupati Graphite Plc (AIM: TRG) has filed an application to the OTC Markets Group for its shares to be cross traded publicly on the OTCQX market, which will make the company’s shares more widely available to North American investors. This will give Tirupati access to a deeper pool of capital and exposure to the US investment community, which has shown extensive interest in its areas of activity.
Katoro Gold Plc (AIM: KAT) has presented its audited annual financial statements for the year ended 31 December 2020 as extracted from its 2020 Annual Report. The period covers Katoro entering into a binding conditional agreement to form a joint venture in South Africa to reprocess 1.34m ounce of gold JORC compliant tailings resource. As well as this, the technical work related to the upgrade of Blyvoor Gold Tailings Project was completed and progress was made towards securing funding. Power Metal Resources acquired a further 10% of the Haneti Joint Venture, and a 2,000m RAB drilling programme commenced at the project consisting of around 50 holes drilled.
BlueRock Diamonds Plc (AIM: BRD) provided an update on corporate and operational activities. A Heads of Terms has been agreed with the Teichmann Group for a £1.61m loan note, and 80% of the expansion project at Kareevlei has been completed and is on track to be commissioned in July.
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